Statement by Peace Alliance Winnipeg: Why the international community should not support Canada for the UN Security Council
On June 17 member states are to vote to fill one of the rotating seats of the UN Security Council. Canada, Ireland and Norway are the three candidate nations. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been campaigning hard to win the support of the international community to support Canada’s bid.
Its composition of permanent and rotating members reflects the founding Charter and its objectives of preventing unilateralism in international politics and ensuring one or more powers could not hijack the UN and its actions in the service of a particular power or group of powers.
The international community should not support Canada for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council because Canada is in violation of the UN Charter.
The UN Charter states in Article 1:
“The Purposes of the United Nations are: … 2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”.
In Article 2, it states:
“The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
We believe that Canada is in violation of the above sections as witnessed by its promotion of regime change in Venezuela.
On May 19, Prime Minister Trudeau was questioned during a press conference about the opposition to Canada’s bid for the temporary Security Council seat. A Canadian newspaper reported his answer as follows:
‘For those that don’t agree with our position on Venezuela, the dictator, Maduro, is illegitimate,” Trudeau said. “He’s creating a huge humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which is now sending refugees throughout Latin America, and we are with our allies and friends in South America to find a solution to his awful crisis.’ Toronto Star, May 19, 2020
We believe this response shows Canada to be in violation of the Charter through its sustained interference with respect to the sovereignty of Venezuela.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s characterization of Venezuela is monumentally dishonest. Its economic woes have resulted from U.S. and Canadian sanctions and theft of its assets; its democracy has been threatened time and again by coup attempts and violent actions fomented by the U.S. Despite this, Venezuela’s record of seeing to the economic and public health needs of its largely poor population is unmatched.
Which country will be the next target of Canadian intervention? We submit that Canada’s foreign policy is so closely linked with that of the U.S. that to place Canada in the Security Council will be of disservice to the UN and its aims and principles.